Wind Ensemble. (1995) 18’
University of Arizona Wind Ensemble, Gregg Hanson, cond.
PDF, 5 MB
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The title A Tuning Piece: Songs of Fall and Winter needs a bit of explanation. “Tuning” refers first to extended passages built around a single pitch, allowing the opportunity for carefully heard intonation. “A Tuning” reads also as “Attuning,” suggesting a kind of music that brings mind and heart to a point of rest; “A Tuning Piece” is also filled with tunes from start to finish! “Songs of Fall and Winter” … the surprising realization in passing age 50 that my life was more than likely a good deal closer to the end that the beginning. And so this is a piece for the second half of life, a time in which the attitude of “attuning” has become very important for me. It is reflective of a growing awareness of my own religious nature, an awareness which has as its core a deeply felt sense of the soul connection of human life with all of earthly nature, and with the whole of the cosmos. The result, in this piece, is a very interior music.
A Tuning Piece: Songs of Fall and Winter is in five sections. The first is a gentle, reflective music. It is followed by a bold and bursting music which quotes and expands on the hymn tune Lobt Gott ihr Christen Allzugleich from the 371 Four-Part Chorales by J.S. Bach. The third section is impassioned and has the quality of a spiritual, though it is newly composed. The fourth section is very intimate and reflective. It is a setting of Jesu, Jesu, du bist mein (also from the Chorales), and is given a medieval flavor by a consistent “open fifth” harmonization. The final portion of music is a partial recapitulation of the opening. It is ethereal and transcendent in nature.